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Doubts about a rebound in Japan's economy are rippling through boardrooms across the country, a key central bank survey suggested Wednesday, as efforts to revive growth falter. The Bank of Japan's closely watched Tankan report showed confidence among big manufacturers stood at plus 12 in March, flat from the previous survey and missing expectations that the level would come in at 14. While sentiment among non-manufacturers was more upbeat, they pared profit expectations while Japan's increasingly pessimistic corporate titans trim their spending plans. "A weak yen and lower oil prices has provided some support (to the economy) but the Tankan showed that firms, particularly manufacturers, are now acutely aware that overseas demand is softening," SMBC Nikko Securities said in a report.
Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday became Nigeria's president elect after defeating Goodluck Jonathan in the first democratic change of power ever in Africa's most populous nation. Thousands spilled onto the streets of the north's biggest city, Kano, in celebration, shouting his campaign slogan "Sai Buhari" ("Only Buhari") as he took an unassailable lead with one state to declare. The Independent National Electoral Commission said Buhari won 15,424,921 votes or 53.95 percent of the 28,587,564 total valid votes cast. The election was hit by glitches to new voter technology and claims of irregularities, having been played out against a backdrop of fears of deadly Boko Haram violence and poll-related clashes.